Rights Respecting Schools
What is a Rights Respecting School?
The Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) is an award given to schools on behalf of UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s fund who are the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights.
In 1989, governments worldwide promised all children the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). These rights are based on what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential.
What is meant by a right?
Rights are the basic human needs that apply to everybody. Rights are not the same as needs.
The Convention of the Rights of the Child (the CRC) consists of 54 articles. The key provisions are:
• The right to a childhood (including protection from harm)
• The right to be educated (including children being encouraged to reach the highest standard of education of which they are capable)
• The right to be healthy (including having clean water, nutritious food and medical care)
• The right to be treated fairly (which includes changing laws and practices that discriminate against children)
• The right to be heard (which includes considering the views of children
Why do children need to learn about their rights?
• In signing the UNCRC governments have a responsibility to make children and adults aware of these rights.
• They should be helped to exercise their rights
• They should be able to enforce their rights
Why does learning about rights compliment the aims of our school?
In a Rights Respecting School children are taught to understand their own rights and learn to appreciate and respect the rights of others.
This supports their development into responsible, confident young citizens both in school and the wider community.
How are children being taught the rights?
We have been discussing the CRC through various activities including assemblies, taught sessions in class and supporting the children to create displays about rights and responsibilities.
How can parents support what children are learning about the Convention at school?
The learning of rights, respect, and responsibility begins at home.
In addition, you could:
• Discuss the ideas learned in class or examples from your own experiences or from the media, of rights being respected or denied
• Discuss how your child or your family can promote respect for rights, or help those whose rights have been violated around the world.
• Ask your child’s opinion on children’s rights
INVESTIGATING DIFFERENT ARTICLES
Year 6 groups used the convention as as a starting point in our discussions about racism. Here are a few examples of our thoughts and learning.
All children have rights whatever their ethnicity,gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status.
Being happy and proud about who we are as people is important. A group of children talked about how we are all different and should respect and value who we are. Creating posters, we thought about the best things we like about others and ourselves.
No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.
Children have the right to say what they think should happen when adults are making decisions that affect them and to have their opinions taken into account.
You have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups as long as it is not harmful to others
You have the right to reliable information from the media.
A group of children in Year 6 investigated fake news.
Everyone has the right to clean water, healthy food and healthcare.
Everyone has the right to use their own language, customs and religions even if the majority of people do not use it where they live.
You have the right to know your rights!
Take a look at our acrostic rights poems!
Year 3 delivered a hugely enjoyable assembly celebrating Harvest festival. They performed to both the whole school and their parents. Food donations from Year 3 were distributed to a “Safer Place” refuge in Hertfordshire. The refuges support adults and children who have been affected by domestic abuse. The organisation has supported accommodation in the Herts and Essex that can accommodate up to 110 women and their children at any time.
Each class focused on a different country investigating its people and culture including food and customs. We also looked at the issues some of these countries face including climate change and endangered species.
Article 12 : Children have the right to form their own views and express those views in matters that affect them.
Year 6 have been investigating our carbon footprint and the impact it has on our planet.
They wrote to Tesco asking them to think about their policy of using products with palm oil.
Arteco the Brookland Rights Respecter
Arteco was created by our children’s Rights Respecting Committee.
His name is a combination of Articles (rights) and Eco.
This is how they built his body:
- The lightbulb represents all children have the right to share their views.
- The head represents all children everywhere have rights.
- The hearing aids represent children with disabilities have the right to support and encouragement to reach their full potential.
- The cocoa beans and banana represent Fairtrade and the right for children to be protected from work until the appropriate age.
- The avocado and orange juice arms represent the right to healthy food.
- The key represents the right to privacy.
- The football represents the right to rest and play.
- The book represents the right to an education.
- The plastic bottles represent the right for children to learn how to look after the environment.
Take a look at the leaflet below created by our Unicef Committee. It was updated again in 2020.
At the start of each school year, each class creates their class charter. Here are some examples from September 2019